I’m still slowly but surely continuing to plot my novel The King of Diaden. I have an outline which details the main events of each of the 45 chapters I think I’ll have, and now I’m going through and writing a little outline for each chapter, which I’m hoping will make writing easier.
This is also helpful just to get the characters and the tone of the story pounded deep into my subconscious. I’m not sure if that’s something readers will be able to recognize, but I think it will surely make writing easier.
Currently, I’m outlining chapter 7, but I’ve already hit my first little snag… the overall tone of the novel isn’t working for me. It’s too tragic. It’s as if one of my themes is: “Life stinks!” And I don’t really want it to have that theme. At the same time, I don’t really want to change the tragic elements of the ending. So I’m really struggling trying to figure out how to make the tone of the novel more positive, while not changing what actually happens plot-wise.
My first idea is to change how the characters respond to certain events in the plot; they should be more optomistic. Their spirits should be more positive, even though certain plot events are understandably tragic. Not that they don’t feel sad, but they shouldn’t let that sadness stop them from feeling good about other plot events; it shouldn’t get them down in the dumps.
This idea is somewhat dangerous, however, as I certainly don’t want their attitudes to seem too sugar-coated, or just too plain apathetic. I don’t want their reactions to seem like a silly lie. So I think this will be a tough balancing act.
My second idea is to separate the narrator and the viewpoint character at some points. I like the idea (and have used it before, mostly in my unfinished novel attempt The Game of Gynwig) of adding in [a little dark] humor by having a narrator who describes tragic events bluntly, because he is apathetic.
(That isn’t to say the narrator has to state: “Hello, I am your narrator” and be some defined character, like Lemony Snicket. It just means there is no viewpoint character at that point, or it’s a very limited viewpoint.)
Again, that will be another balancing act, because if I overdo it, it will be much more of a comedy book, and it won’t be that funny.
And, lastly, I suppose I should try to keep the tone of the novel focused on the wonder of the magic in the book. Overall, it’s still a character driven story, it’s not just a portrait of magic. In other words, the theme of the novel shouldn’t be just how wonderful the magic is. But it should have an effect on how the story is told.
Not sure if I’ll be able to keep all those ideas in my mind while I write, but I hope I can pound them into my subconscious so I can start understanding the story as an overall positive story, and not a big gloomy tragedy, which is kind of how it seems to me now.